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Sustainable mobility: 2000-2004 action programme

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Sustainable mobility: 2000-2004 action programme


To implement a Common transport policy which is safe, efficient, competitive and socially and environmentally friendly.

2) ACT

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the common transport policy - "Sustainable mobility: perspectives for the future"

[COM (1998) 716 final - Not published in the Official Journal].


In this Communication, the Commission summarises its priorities in the transport sector for the period up to 2000, based on its Action Programme for 1995 to 2000 and its work programme for 1999. It then sets out its longer-term perspectives for the period 2000-2004.

In recent years some progress has certainly been made on transport, but it is not enough. That is why the strategic objectives set out in the 1995-2000 Action Programme are still valid. Transport in Europe, both in the EU and beyond, must be made more efficient and competitive, and its overall quality has to be improved.

Efficient transport systems will make the sector more competitive and give a boost to growth and employment. To achieve this, we must:

  • Improve market access and functioning, particularly in the rail sector and ports, and eliminate the obstacles which remain in other sectors (in particular civil aviation);
  • Set up integrated transport systems by continuing to develop Trans-European networks and promoting intelligent transport systems such as the Global Navigation by Satellite System (GNSS);
  • Introduce fair and efficient pricing to reduce the distortions of competition between modes of transport and between Member States;
  • Give more attention to the social aspects of transport, including working conditions and working time;
  • Monitor the implementation of Community legislation, particularly on State aids and competition.

To meet the needs of European citizens, emphasis must be placed on the quality of transport services. In the first place, safety must be improved. The Commission will put forward proposals on safety in civil aviation and maritime transport, and will ensure that the action programme on road safety is implemented.

The development of transport services must take account of their possible effects on the environment. So the Commission is giving priority to forms of sustainable transport. In accordance with the guidelines laid down at the Kyoto Conference, it will give particular attention to measures to limit the extent to which transport systems contribute to climate change. It will also tackle the problems of noise and other emissions from aircraft.

Transport policy must also ensure that consumers' rights are protected. The Commission will therefore give particular attention to civil aviation, where it intends to look at ways of improving consumer information and frequent flyer programmes. It will also focus on improving the quality of local public transport.

Finally, the EU's fifth Framework Programme for Research and Development will promote the development of safe and sustainable transport systems via research into safety and the ecological characteristics of the different modes of transport.

The common transport policy also has an external dimension. The Commission refers to the negotiations taking place with the central and eastern European countries and to the initiatives taken with Switzerland, the United States, India and China. The increasing globalisation of the economy means the European Union will have to continue developing a coherent policy in its relations with non-EU countries.

In the longer term, the objectives described above must be maintained over the period 2000-2004. The Commission sets out an exhaustive list of the tasks to be accomplished during this period, which include:

  • studying the feasibility of a European Transport Data System;
  • clarifying the regulatory framework, including State aid guidelines;
  • improving the interoperability of transport systems and deploying intelligent transport systems;
  • considering the role of logistics in the transport economy;
  • achieving greater convergence in standards for training and professional qualifications;
  • examining problems and performance in the different modes of transport;
  • finding less environmentally-damaging energy alternatives for transport;
  • putting in place a new regime for Alpine transit;
  • examining the role of international organisations responsible for transport in Europe and the transport implications of UN and WTO reports.

Last updated: 23.05.2002